In Newsweek this week, there’s an article by the horror writer Stephen King. I’ve always like Mr. King, especially his non-horror writings. In Newsweek, he lists things he wants to happen before he dies. They are:
- To live to see George W. Bush tried for crimes against humanity.
- To fly in space – orbital would be fine – and to write about it.
- To see “American Idol” canceled.
This is an interesting list. This is a list about experiencing things that are geniune and not being sold a bad of good, not about being marketed to.
Bush is a marketing act. Many politicians are like this, but Bush has taken it to another level. He repeats phrases and has his entire PR staff do nothing but parrot his statements. Like an idiotic beer commercial, Bush believes we’re morons and need to be spoken to as morons. He’s used this practice to bring us into war. He justifies everything with blanket statements like “Failure is not an option – we’ll be victorious” without addressing the fact that most people don’t even want to be involved.
Going into space would be amazing and truly “out of this world.” Humans were not meant to leave Earth and getting out of the atmosphere and looking back on the little blue ball would be a beautiful and authentic experience. This is not marketing, not hype, not based on buzz or what the blogosphere or Hozack is saying. This has nothing to do with what society wants us to desire like low-cutting jeans, an iPod or Beyonce – this is just something that is objectively awesome.
American Idol is a fascinating show. It is promoted in every nook of America. It takes regular people, makes them sing popular songs on national TV, chooses the person that is most marketable (based on viewer feedback), signs them to a very restrictive contract and then promotes the hell out of them for people to buy it. It is a cash cow. It is the perfect marketing engine. But it isn’t real. These “Idols” don’t write their own stuff, they don’t acheive their own success and are really just pawns for corporate bigwigs who are looking for something to sell.
All of King’s statements make sense to me. The first is a pretty hard-hitting statement. I mean we are all upset with Iraq and Bush’s performance, but this goes beyond that. It is an attack of politics. The 3rd is attack on american culture. And the 2nd is a desire to get away from both of those to a place that is untouched and pure – at least before Fox gets there and puts up some celestial billboards.
What would your top 3 be?